• Valentine’s Day Special – Forbidden Love, The Cars You Can’t Have

It’s like Romeo and Juliet, only with more tire smoke

A quick glance across the room, a stolen wink of the eye, a casual brush of the hand – when you can’t have something, you want it even more. And while it’s true the U.S. automotive market has a whole lot to offer, there are more than a few highly desirable models out there that are only sold outside our borders. You lust after them, you need them. This is forbidden love, the cars you can’t have.

Maybe you read about it in an online review, or saw it in a video, or heard about it from some friends. Either way, you know it’s the right car for you. Sure, there are similar options on these shores, but none of them come close to the real thing.

Included in this list you’ll find performance cars, utility vehicles, sport compacts, and luxury cars. But we wanna know – what forbidden cars do you lust after? Tell us in the comments.

Continue reading for the full list.

Holden Ute

2004 Holden Ute
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Part sports car, part pick-up truck, you could compare the Holden Ute to the Chevrolet El Camino, but that would be doing it a bit of a disservice. Sure, both Holden and Chevy are owned by General Motors, but the Ute is so much more, packing modern technology and underpinnings that place it far ahead of the old school Bow Tie product. Features like an interior heads-up display and automatic parking assist make it tech-savvy, while big brakes from Brembo and an independent rear suspension make it handle. But the best bit is under the hood, where a 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 makes over 400 horsepower at the rear wheels. Throw in a big bed in back, and you have yourself quite the combination.

If you find yourself salivating at the thought of owning one of these things, then Left Hand Utes in Colorado is pretty much your only solution. But beware – the conversion process isn’t cheap.

Read the full review here.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake

2013 Jaguar XF Sportbrake High Resolution Exterior
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Here’s another model that combines speed and practicality in a single, delicious package. While Jaguar already offers us the XF in a variety of four-door trim levels, the Cat Badge has yet to give us this – the XF Sportbrake. Overseas buyers know it as an estate, while you and I might call it a wagon, but either way, it looks amazing, with classic British lines on the body panels and a refined attitude in the cabin. The last one (the XFR-S) was offered with a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 pumping out 543 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque, which was enough to send it to 60 mph in around 4.5 seconds. Yeah, you want it.

Mercifully, rumor has it that the XF Sportbrake will indeed come stateside soon, although we don’t yet know which powertrains will come with it. Fingers crossed it’ll pack enough firepower to hang with the recently released Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon.

Read the full review here.

Lancia Delta Integrale

1985 Lancia Delta S4 Stradale
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Here’s an oldie but a goodie. Plucked from the thrills and spills of the World Rally Championship, this Italian-born speed-cube was tearing up the stages long before the Subaru WRX was even conceived. Making it go was the usual dirt-churning combo of turbocharged power and AWD grip, and per homologation stipulations, Lancia produced a road-going variant with all the usual go-fast goodies. A few have turned up at auction here and there, but if you do pick one up, good luck making it street legal here in the states.

Read the full review here.

Lotus Elise

2016 Lotus Elise Sport
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About six years ago, Lotus stopped selling the very pretty and endlessly entertaining street Elise to U.S. customers, all thanks to a quibble over safety regulations. The problem was Lotus didn’t want to go through the trouble of updating its airbag systems, and rightfully so – in order to comply, the British brand would have had to add hundreds of pounds of equipment to the nippy two-door, putting a serious dent in the whole “simplify then add lightness” thing it had going on. And that’s a shame, because how can you not love a low-weight British sports car?

Thankfully, word has it the Elise will return to U.S. streets in 2020, so at least we don’t have to wait too long to once again indulge. In the meantime, you can still buy one stateside, just so long as it’s loaded on a trailer and only used for track days.

Read the full review here.

Noble M600

2011 Noble M600 Exterior
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It looks as if Noble is serious about creating a Drophead. Check out the details at TopSpeed.com.

Speaking of low-weight British sports cars, say hello to the Noble M600, a stripped-down, barebones, skull-crushing RWD widow maker. Built in a U.K. business park and equipped with almost no electronic drivers aides whatsoever (ABS is for wimps, amirite?), this carbon fiber monster makes 662 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque at the rear axle thanks to a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 crammed just behind the cabin. Flat out, it’ll hit 225 mph.

Read the full review here.

Nissan Skyline R32 , R33, And R34

1957 - 2006 Nissan Skyline
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Skyline R32

Older U.S. enthusiasts out there will remember a time when Godzilla was something you’d only get to witness on grainy Video Option VHS tapes. You see, back then, Nissan’s ultimate AWD badass was more myth than reality, a six-cylinder destroyer of worlds that we could only imagine prowling the streets hunting for Vipers and Corvettes. Now, with the R35, that dream is a reality, but previous generations of the GT-R are still sadly out of reach.

Read the full review here.

Renault Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R

2014 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy High Resolution Exterior
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While it’s true that hot hatch offerings in the U.S. have improved substantially over the years, there are still quite a few teardrop shaped performance machines we’re unfortunately denied. The Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R is one such vehicle. Developed as a street-legal track terror, this Renault is stuffed to the gills with go-fast goodies, including adjustable shocks from Ohlins, huge disc brakes, 19-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber, Recaro racing buckets, and six-point racing harnesses. Making it go is 275 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque at the front axle, while unnecessary features like a radio and interior ventilation are scrapped in favor of lower weight. It’s quite the package, and in the right hands, it’ll even clock a record-breaking 7 minutes, 54 seconds around the Nurburgring.

Read the full review here.

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